What Happened at WordCamp Manchester 2014?


That’s it! I went to my first ever WordCamp on Saturday, and I really enjoyed it! WordCamp Manchester 2014 was held at Manchester Metropolitan University, and saw around 120 people from across the country (and Europe!) turn up for a day of presentations. In this post, you’ll learn exactly what went on at WordCamp Manchester 2014, and what each speaker said and did.

This WordCamp was organised by Jenny Wong, alongside Mike Little (WordPress Co-founder), and a team of other great volunteers.

The atmosphere surrounding the event was really friendly, and everyone had a great time! I managed to score some selfies with some of the big players in the WordPress industry – most notably with the WordPress Co-founder, Mike Little, his sister Michelle Hay, and Rhys Wynne.

The Presentations

There were six main presentations and two lighting talk sessions in the General Track (where I was all day), and eight main presentations in the Technical Track. To learn more about any of these presentations, see the other posts in this series.

1. Easy, Lazy WordPress SEO – Jessica Rose

First up was Jessica Rose, who spoke about how to do some really simple but effective SEO stuff in WordPress. She goes through recommending various services and plugins, and explains why each factor is important for SEO. For more information, read the full post.

2. A Guide to Sourcing and Evaluating Plugins – Tim Nash

Tim Nash once wrote a plugin… that’s how he begins his talk, reminiscing about how he spoke at the previous WordCamp Manchester. This was a particularly interesting and funny talk, with a very casual tone to it. Yet, it was super informative – even if I disagree with his dig at CodeCanyon! For more information, read the full post.

3. Developing and Maintaining A Successful Plugin – Kevin Stover

The third presentation was from Kevin Stover, talking about plugin development. More specifically, “The Candid Developer. Developing and Maintaining A Successful Plugin… Is Scary”. Kevin is the developer for Ninja Forms, and his speech was really informative. read the full post.

4. Managing a Multi-Author Blog – Sam Berson

Then, it was my turn! I spoke on the topic of multi-author blogging – specifically talking about how I manage this site, wpContent! For more information, read the full post.

5. Making Your WordPress Site More Shareable – Carolyn Jones

Carolyn Jones continued the event, by giving some useful information, such as mentioning how to make the most of each share, how to use page titles and meta descriptions effectively, and how to use WordPress to do lots for you! For more information, read the full post.

6. A Web Designer’s Law Update – Heather Burns

Despite not actually being a lawyer, Heather Burns from Washington D.C. began by telling us a little about herself, working on web design projects, as well as more legal projects regarding the web. She has a very natural voice and soothing accent. For more information, read the full post.

7. Lightning Talks – Session One

Once all the main presentations had been done, there were eight lightning talks, which each consisted of ten minutes of content, with little preparation, and in all but one case, no slides. Session One saw talks on topics such as building sites for scale, and GitBook.

8. Lightning Talks – Session Two

The second half of the talks consisted of another four speeches – most notably those of: Tim Nash, who spoke on the title, “Shared Hosting Sucks”; Kimb Jones, who spoke on the title, “Run Your Own WordCamp”; Jenny Wong who spoke on the title, “How I Became a Developer”.

Contributor Day

Whilst I didn’t personally go to the second day of WordCamp Manchester 2014, which was the Contributor Day, attendees got the change to contribute to the Core, UI, Accessibility, Mobile, Support, Polygots, Themes, Documentation, Community, Meta, and BuddyPress aspects of the CMS. For more information, read the official page.

In Summary

Overall, I had a super day, especially as it was my first ever WordCamp event! I got loads of great ‘swag’, collecting three t-shirts, a 16GB memory stick, lots of stickers, badges, and a shiny new lanyard!

I hope you’ve found this post useful, especially if you couldn’t attend WordCamp Manchester 2014. Feel free to leave a comment below if you’ve got any thoughts or questions!


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